Home » Crayola Markers: A Great Tool for Lefty Letterers

Crayola Markers: A Great Tool for Lefty Letterers

 

I think I may need a pentervention.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know about my recent obsession with Crayola markers. I can’t help it — there are just so many great things about them! They’re inexpensive, they come in tons of colors and, most importantly, they’re fantastic for lefties because THEY DON’T FRAY.  As any lefty who has used a traditional brush pen knows, they fray after, like, two uses.  Before I started using Crayolas, I had pretty much given in to the fact that I would be stuck using the smaller, firmer-tipped pens forever.  I thought I would never get to make those big, juicy strokes that righties got to make with their brush markers unless I wanted to waste beaucoup bucks on markers I could only use a few times.  Then, I saw the Crayola light.  They were on a big back-to-school display at Target, and a pack of ten was only 97-freakin’-cents!  I’d seen others using them on Instagram, and knew it was a sign to give them a try!  The awesome thing about Crayola tips is that they aren’t “brushy,” so they can handle our “pushing” strokes without damaging the marker.  They’re nice and firm, which makes it really easy to get those thin upstrokes without feeling like you’re fighting your pen.  All it takes is a minor adjustment in between strokes.

 

Here’s how I use them to create thick and thin calligraphy strokes:

1. Hold them as you would your normal brush pens.  If you need help with your grip, read this post!

2. The same principles apply as with other brush pens — more pressure on the downstrokes, less on the upstrokes.  If you need help with pressure, read this post!

3. This is where it gets a little different. As you’re making your thick downstrokes, the fine point will sort of get “smushed” up.  See how the tip is pointing slightly upwards in the photo below?

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If you attempt to make a thin upstroke while the tip is pointing upwards, it’ll turn out thicker than you’d like because you’re using the broad underside of the marker.  Rotate your marker in your hand until the fine point of the marker is pointing slightly downwards, like this:

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That way, only that fine point will touch the paper on your upstroke, making it nice and thin.  It seems like such a small thing, but it makes all the difference.  Check out my Crayola videos on Instagram @theinkyhand if you’d like to see “The Marker Roll” (I literally just made that name up) in action!  For much more information about using Crayolas for calligraphy, check out this amazing Crayligraphy website!

13 comments

  1. Heather says:

    I’m so glad I found your blog and this post! I’m very new to brush (and a lefty) and I felt like I was doing something wrong because all the beautiful brush pens I bought seemed to fray after only a few words. I’ll have to look into Crayola! Have you found any way to prevent fraying with brush pens like TomBow? Hate to see them go to waste. Thanks so much!

  2. Jen McD says:

    Silly question, but what kind of paper do you use? On your Instagram videos, the ink always looks so nice and glossy, which makes me think it’s super smooth paper. I’m a beginner and a lefty, I started out with some mixed media pads (thinking it would be good for watercoloring backgrounds), but the paper is pulpy and it makes the pushing motion wobbly on my thin strokes.

  3. Charry says:

    Yes! I totally can relate to the fraying tips. (I thought it was just me.) I tried buying Crayolas after reading this post…and i’m so happy I did.

    P.S. Zig’s Art & Graphics Twin is also “lefty friendly”. The tip is made of rubber so no fraying too (so far). But it’s really thick and the ink tends to bleed.

  4. Pam says:

    I feel so identified with your post! (I hope that sentence has the meaning I want to communicate ) I thought all you are commenting just happened to me because I’m newbie/leftie and I haven’t got the grip/angle right. But I’m struggling fraying my brush pens at the second word, not being able to make thicker strokes with them as I see other people do, loving my Crayolas (specially the broad tips, but I just have them in 10 colors) for the very same reason and smudging up their tips just like in your picture!
    Why is it that brush tip pens like Tombows get frayed so easily when you are a left handed?
    Thanks so much for writing this post! I don’t feel lonely anymore!

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